Reviews written by marlow

35 results - showing 1 - 25
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Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     May 31, 2014
Last updated: May 31, 2014
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

This one is very interesting, and quite distinct from the other offerings from Delaware Phoenix. Blues Cat pours an attractive gold-peridot, and pouches nicely to an attractive yellowish jade. The aroma is fresh, herbal and bracing, with interesting spicy notes that become more pronounced as water is added. However, the flavor and finish are what make the Cat unique: this absinthe is strongly spicy, with intense white pepper notes. The anise is comparatively low in the mix, but the soft bitterness of wormwood is present and substantial, which keeps this absinthe balanced. The finish lingers, with the spicy notes predominant.

Overall, I like this absinthe very much; of all of the spicy/peppery absinthes I've had, this is the best. I still tend to prefer Walton Waters for its classic flavor profile, but Blues Cat makes for an excellent deviation from the norm.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     August 06, 2013
Last updated: August 06, 2013
Overall rating 
 
4.2
Appearance 
 
3.5
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.5
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A Jade by any other name...

My bottle is labelled V.S. 1898, but the Jade website seems to be calling it C.F. Berger, and it presumably was the old Jade Verte Suisse. Well, whatever, it is good absinthe.

Before water, it does not appear remarkable: the color is a dull peridot, which improves with the louche to present a nice grayish jade color. Before water, the aroma is arresting and bracingly herbal. This mellows with the louche to a fresh, herbal scent that is very pleasing. The flavor is bold and spicy, but thankfully not too peppery, and the absinthe has a seemingly endless herbal finish.

High marks for this brand.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     April 05, 2012
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Appearance 
 
4.5
Louche 
 
3.5
Aroma 
 
4.5
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
3.5
Overall 
 
4.0

A very fine blanche

This is a very nice blanche, and though it does not compare to Ridge's verte, it is still quite respectable. The color is fine...perfectly clear with no trace of impurities. The aroma before and after water is very nice, both pleasing and bracing. The louche is rapid and the final color is an attractive if unremarkable white jade. Flavor and finish are good but unsubtle, and could use more complexity, even allowing for the typical character of a blanche as opposed to a verte. There is a strong impression of licorice in the flavor. Overall, I like this absinthe quite well. It is significantly better than Kubler, for example, though it does not have the interest or complexity of some of the best blanches.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     December 26, 2011
Last updated: December 26, 2011
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Rocky Mountain High

Ridge Verte pours an attractive shade of olive-peridot, with a fresh aroma before water that is both herbal and medicinal. There are noticeable white pepper notes in the scent. When water is added, an attractive louche forms, with all of the expected visual effects.

After water, the aroma is stellar: fresh and tonic-like, which characteristics carry over into the excellent flavor. This absinthe is challenging...it reminds me somewhat of the Roquette 1797. The two share the medicinal DNA of the earliest absinthes. The finish is perhaps a little too peppery, though with age this may improve. If so, I'll up the overall score from 4 to 5.

Overall, I like it very much. Well done, T73 and company.

Reviewed by marlow     July 08, 2011
Last updated: July 09, 2011
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0

Marvelous

Well, here we have another wonderful absinthe from Delaware Phoenix. It pours an attractive peridot green, tending toward the yellow-gold, and louches to an attractive, yellow jade. The louche forms correctly, with "oil trails" and billowing clouds. It is pretty, though perhaps not quite as pleasing as its cousin Walton Waters.

The aroma is delightful. Before water, it is mild and fresh, with a touch of alcohol in the mix. After water, it is mild and floral, with delicate spicy notes.

The flavor is similarly floral and delicate, but with a pleasing underlying bitterness which lingers in a long and complex finish.

There is nothing here I would change. I slightly prefer the more boldly herbal Walton Waters, but Meadow of Love represents a different style, executed to perfection.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     December 29, 2010
Last updated: January 24, 2011
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

One-dimensional

I am afraid I have to buck the trend on this one.

La Berthe de Joux is very pretty. It pours a lovely peridot green, and louches to an attractive jade, with all the usual visuals. Perhaps the louche is a trifle thin, but not enough to penalize. The aroma before water is pleasant: herbal and fresh, with a bracing tonic scent from the alcohol.

After that first impression, however, I found it rather disappointing.

Aroma, flavor, and finish are all dominated by an intense peppery flavor that tends to obscure the anise and wormwood. This comes as a great surprise to me, as I generally love Emile Pernot's products (including the controversial Roquette 1797). Generally, however, Pernot can be counted on to produce a balanced (or at least nuanced) product. This one lacks subtlety.

Overall, I think it shows promise, but I would rather drink Vieux Pontarlier, the Roquette, or Doubs.

UPDATE: This absinthe has improved considerably since I first opened the bottle...more than I have previously seen with any other brand. While the flavor remains a bit one-dimensional, with "white pepper" dominating all other flavors, it has mellowed a bit and I find I'm enjoying it more. Accordingly, I raised the rating on flavor from 2 to 3.

This is still my least favored offering from Emile Pernot, but overall it will do.

Reviewed by marlow     November 11, 2010
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Batch 14: A Work In Progress

I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with Leopold's absinthe. I had read a lot of good reviews about batch-by-batch improvements to the product, but as of #14, there was still a long way to go.

The color and louche are fine. The drink begins an attractive olive green and with the addition of water becomes a pleasing yellowish jade. The louche process yields all the expected "oil trails" and visual theatrics.

The flavor and aroma, however, are way out of balance. There is something overwhelmingly leafy or grassy in the scent and taste of this absinthe, which largely obscures whatever might be going on with the anise, wormwood, and so forth. Perhaps with time this will "air out" a bit, and if it does, I will update my review accordingly, but for now, I'm afraid I have to give the Leopold low marks.

The finish is acceptable, but the grassy quality lingers. Overall, I think this absinthe shows promise, but it's very much a work in progress.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     April 13, 2010
Last updated: April 13, 2010
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Sgt. Pepper

I was quite eager to try the Vieux Carre, in part because I am a big fan of the Bluecoat gin from the same distiller. Unfortunately, this absinthe falls short of the standard set by the best American brands.

The color before water is a dark olive. It looks very natural, but is otherwise unremarkable. Fresh from the bottle, the aroma is mostly alcohol, with some herbal scents discernible as well. With the addition of water, a gradual louche forms, resulting in a translucent yellow jade. While nothing extraordinary, the results are generally pleasing.

The aroma after water is rather peppery, and while fresh and mild seems somewhat out of balance. This is even more true of the flavor, which is unbalanced to the point of being unacceptable. The predominant note is white pepper, and if it could be dialed down a bit, this absinthe would probably improve a great deal, because the anise and wormwood are present.

The finish is also mainly peppery, with the other herbal flavors being lost in the clamor.

Overall, I think this absinthe shows promise, but it remains a work in progress.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     April 12, 2010
Last updated: April 12, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Parisian Seductress

L'Enjôleuse is one of the most unusual and remarkable absinthes I have yet encountered. I suspect it is one that will have its detractors, but for all that it is atypical, I give it my wholehearted recommendation.

To begin, I say "don't judge the book by its cover." L'Enjôleuse is not the prettiest absinthe out of the bottle. It pours an unremarkable greenish gold, with brownish-amber tints. It looks completely natural, but that is really the best that can be said about its appearance. However, like Rosanna Arquette, there is more to the Seductress than conventional good looks.

The louche is extraordinary. As the water drips in, the expected "oil trails" refract the light in amber-gold flashes. The plain brown of the absinthe changes to a smoky quartz, and then a yellowish jade. The final color is not exceptionally beautiful, but the louche is pleasing and appropriately translucent.

The aroma before water is quite interesting, and one definitely detects the cognac notes that the distiller mentions. As the water is added, the aroma becomes more herbal, but there are intense peppery notes as well. This comes through even more in the flavor, which is complex, unusual, and arresting. With each sip, atop the base flavor of absinthe, I sense notes of cognac, orange, and pepper. There are also candy-like flavors and other spices too subtle to be named. Like all of the Paul Devoille absinthes, L'Enjôleuse is intensely herbal. However, this offering is far more layered and complex than La Coquette or the old standby Verte de Fougerolles.

The finish is long and rich, as the complex flavors slowly fade. Overall, as noted above, this absinthe is far from typical. There is so much going on that this will never be a "daily drinker." That said, L'Enjôleuse is aptly named. I would have been sorry to have missed this one.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     March 25, 2010
Last updated: March 25, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

White Jade

Absinthe Duplais Blanche is a very enjoyable offering. From the bottle, it pours perfectly clear and attractive, and with the addition of water it slowly becomes a ghostly jade. The louche builds very deliberately, with "oil trails" like wisps of white smoke that at first vanish and then later thicken into a pearly fog. The final louche is silvery-white, nicely translucent, and remarkably attractive.

The aroma before water is mild and herbal; after water, it is much the same. It is so faint as to almost merit a '3,' but I could not call it "peculiar" or "unbalanced," so I awarded it a '4' though only just. The flavor is better, with intriguing notes of herbal bitterness. This is an absinthe I like to take my time with, so as to enjoy every subtle nuance.

The finish brings it all home, with an arresting spiciness building on the herbal foundation. The finish lingers pleasantly, with just a hint of numbing at the sides of one's tongue.

Overall, Absinthe Duplias Blanche is a winner. Though it lacks some of the complexity of the Duplais Verte, I nevertheless recommend it very highly.

Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by marlow     March 24, 2010
Last updated: April 18, 2010
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Appearance 
 
2.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Spirit of New Orleans

Although Herbsaint Original does not purport to be absinthe, but instead is acknowledged as an absinthe substitute, I nevertheless treated it as I would any true absinthe and prepared a traditional "drip" at a 3:1 water to spirit ratio.

To begin with, the Herbsaint pours a dull olive green, with brown overtones. It appears natural enough, but it is not pretty and the color seems wrong, even for a substitute product. The louche does form, but it is extremely thin and tends to fade even as one consumes a glass. The overall effect is a (barely) translucent yellow jade. Both color and louche are well below average.

The aroma is the Herbsaint's best feature. Before water and after, I found it fresh, herbal, and a little spicy. There are hints of mint, and overall it is very pleasant. Although I could not give it a '5' in part due to the lack of wormwood, I nevertheless awarded a '4' in this category.

The taste is acceptable, although perhaps a little too candy-like. I believe anise is the dominant herb. There is little or no bitterness, and I cannot imagine taking Herbsaint with sugar. The finish is wholly unremarkable, though not unpleasant.

Overall, I'll give this a '3' if only for historical interest. I think in future I'll use it in cocktails, as the traditional absinthe drip does not seem to work well for this spirit.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     January 30, 2010
Overall rating 
 
2.4
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0

Strange Brew

L'Italienne is a most unusual absinthe. It seems unremarkable at first, pouring a natural gold-olive with a strong, medicinal scent before water. The louche action is as it should be: all the usual visuals and ending in a thin, yellow jade.

After water, the aroma is quite odd. With a long inhale I get lavender, grapefruit, and white pepper, all mixed together. "Peculiar" is just the word for it. The flavor is odd and way out of balance. The white pepper becomes more intense, while the citrus remains, but there is also an intrusive bitterness which is not pleasing. That bitterness lingers in the finish, along with notes of pepper and a weird floral air, none of which can be mutually reconciled.

What I do not get with this absinthe is much in the way of anise, or the clean herbal bitterness I expect from a good absinthe. I am afraid I cannot recommend this one.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     January 20, 2010
Last updated: March 30, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0

Spectacular

Mystique is one of the best absinthes I've tried to date. From the bottle, it pours a very pretty peridot green, clear and bright, with a rich element of gold in the green. The louche that follows is a beautiful jade, building gradually with all the expected visual, and ending with just the right degree of translucence.

Before water, the aroma is crisp and fresh, somewhat medicinal but not overwhelmingly so. After the louche forms, it opens to a lovely fresh herbal scent, with hints of spice floating on top. Although mild, the aroma is intriguing, with just the right balance of herbal and spicy notes. The flavor and finish meet the expectations raised by the aroma. The former is beautifully balanced: fresh, herbal but not grassy, and spicy without any of the distracting flavor spikes that sometime occur in other brands. Beneath it all runs a delicate bitterness, very subtle at first, but lingering into a long and very pleasing finish.

Perhaps the color before water could be a little more green, but I'll still give Mystique a five overall. Wonderful!

Retired Brands
Reviewed by marlow     January 16, 2010
Overall rating 
 
3.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
3.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Not your grandfather's absinthe...

The Wormwood Blanche does not conform to the standard absinthe profile. If the "holy trinity" of absinthe herbs forms a tripod, then this one leans severely due to the elongated wormwood leg. That said, it makes for an intriguing change of pace.

I gave it a four for color, so as not to skew this review upward. The Blanche is perfectly clear, and attractive enough, but the louche is very thin. I am told that is due to there being so little anise present. The aroma is pleasant and interesting, though there is a slight inky note in the mix which might offend a sensitive nose. This comes through somewhat in the flavor as well, which I found rather too unbalanced to rate above a three.

The finish is surprisingly good, however; a pleasing upnote at the end the tasting. Overall, this is well worth trying, especially if one is looking for a change of pace. For most, however, it would not likely do for every day.

Retired Brands
Reviewed by marlow     January 16, 2010
Last updated: January 16, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.1
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Extreme spice!

I tend to characterize absinthe as either "herbal" or "spicy." The Helfrich Verte falls onto the extreme end of the "spicy" spectrum, at least among absinthe I have tried to date. The color before water was a greenish gold, very clear, and the louche was also attractive, forming a yellowish jade in the end. The aroma was very spicy: a little medicinal before water, but pleasing, complex, and interesting afterward, with a strong element of white pepper. The flavor was even better: not exactly balanced, but intense and interesting. Again, pepper was a prominent note.

If there is a flaw in this absinthe, it is in the finish, which I found reminiscent of tequila. This is where the medicinal aroma came back to haunt the Helfrich just a bit. That said, overall this absinthe is quite good, and an interesting change from what one usually encounters.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     December 30, 2009
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Underrated

I'm giving the Absinthe Duplais high marks. It's a clean, crisp, and very satisfying absinthe that is lovely to behold.

It begins a gorgeous deep shade of peridot, and louches to a very attractive jade. All the expected visuals (heavy "oil trails," etc) are present, and seem to proceed at the correct rate. The aroma is very medicinal before water, but the louche releases a lovely scent: fresh, herbal, and crisp.

The flavor and finish are both quite good, with the dominant impression being a clean, herbal flavor and subtle, lingering bitterness. To me, this absinthe is more "herbal" than "spicy," but there is no trace of unwanted grassiness.

This is one I'll definitely buy again.

Reviewed by marlow     August 06, 2009
Last updated: November 11, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.8
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
5.0

Emaho!

Walton Waters from Delaware Phoenix is a lovely spirit, one that will be enjoyed most by those who like their absinthe complex and intensely herbal.

It begins a very attractive shade of peridot, though there is variation from bottle to bottle. The first I bought was nearly emerald, whereas the second was a more usual shade of peridot. Nevertheless, I have seldom seen a more pleasing color of absinthe, and the louche (to a very attractive jade green) is also as good as it gets.

The aroma is very clean and herbal, though it is less intense than I would have expected. The flavor too is very herbal, with much more wormwood than anise, at least to my palate. There is very little spice in this absinthe's flavor profile, and some might find it slightly grassy, though I do not. The finish is long and rich, with wormwood being the most prominent note.

Overall, I like this one very much. Another fine American absinthe joins the ranks!

Update: I just tried this absinthe again after not tasting it for some months. This time, I found no trace of grassiness in the flavor...indeed, it was exactly what an absinthe should be...and therefore I raised the rating accordingly. Walton Waters may well be the best brand on the U.S. market at present.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     August 05, 2009
Last updated: April 18, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.4
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

That exquisite coquette!

La Coquette is a delightful absinthe. Before water, it presents a lovely, dark peridot green, tinged with olive. I wanted to give it a score of 4.5, and I vacillated quite a bit before settling on 4. The louche forms nicely, with all the usual visuals, and ends up a thick jade with olive tones. Overall, the appearance of this absinthe is quite pleasing.

In the aroma and flavor, however, La Coquette really stands out. The fragrance is intensely herbal but fresh, clean, and not overwhelming. It opens up nicely with the addition of water. The flavor is likewise herbal and lively, but in no way grassy and without any wrong notes. This absinthe falls into the "herbal" rather than "spicy" category, but lacks nothing in the way of interest.

The finish is a trifle bitter, and might be improved with sugar, but even though La Coquette is not quite my ideal absinthe, I really would not change a thing. Do not miss this one!

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     May 29, 2009
Last updated: April 17, 2010
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
2.0
Overall 
 
3.0

Acceptable, but not for every day.

La Charlotte makes for an interesting change of pace, but one has to be in the right mood for it. It also helps if you have a high tolerance for bitterness.

The color (before water) is a rich greenish gold, reminiscent of a quality olive oil. The louche forms quickly and the absinthe transforms into a thick, yellowish jade. I suspect many will find the louche to be too thick to be ideal.

The aroma is quite nice if intensely herbal, and much of that herbal quality comes through in the flavor as well. There is no unwanted grassiness, so I give this absinthe comparatively high marks in that respect. However, there is a surprising bitterness which underlies the other aspects of the flavor, and in the finish this bitterness intensifies until it becomes obtrusive. In this respect, I am reminded somewhat of the Belle Amie, though the latter is better than La Charlotte.

Overall, I think this is an acceptable absinthe, but some may find the bitterness unappealing. It makes for an interesting change of pace, perhaps, but it falls well short of the standard set by the better brands on the market today.

Reviewed by marlow     May 29, 2009
Last updated: January 23, 2010
Overall rating 
 
3.9
Appearance 
 
3.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
4.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

A good, delicate flavor.

I found the Pacifique to be well done, but it probably will never be a favorite of mine. It begins a pale shade of peridot. The color before water is attractive but not as intense as some other absinthes. With the addition of water, a pleasant louche forms. The final color is a very slightly greenish white, not very different from a typical blanche. The louche is a bit on the thin side.

The aroma of the Pacifique is its best feature. There is a nice, clean and delicate spice which is very pleasing. One detects a hint of pepper in the aroma, but nothing too intense or distracting. In the flavor and finish, the pepper comes through even more, and I was reminded a bit of Lucid, though Pacifique's flavor is more subtle and refined. The finish is very similar to the overall taste, with pepper being the predominant note.

Overall, I like this absinthe fairly well, and its certainly a good value for the money. However, it falls a bit short of the standard set by the top-tier absinthes available in the US.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     March 23, 2009
Last updated: March 30, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
5.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Hurrah for Moonshiners!

I believe La Clandestine is the best blanche I've tried to date, just edging out the also excellent La P'tite. It begins perfectly clear and louches to a uniform (if slightly thin) milk white. The aroma is pleasant though very delicate.

In the tasting, La Clandestine really comes into its own. The flavor is surprisingly rich and spicy, with a controlled herbal bitterness and no hint of unwanted grassiness. The finish is truly delightful: long, lingering, spicy and unique. Full marks!

Reviewed by marlow     January 29, 2009
Last updated: March 30, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
5.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Stop! Hammer time!

The Marteau is a very, very nice absinthe. It begins a natural olive green and louches to a very attractive jade, with golden undertones. The louche builds very gradually, with the expected heavy "oil trails" and associated visual effects. Before water, the aroma is surprisingly faint and indistinct, but as the louche forms the absinthe releases a wonderful and complex herbal fragrance. Indeed this may be the nicest scent from any glass I've ever louched.

The flavor is likewise very excellent, blending the herbal complexity of the aroma with an underlying bitterness that I found very enjoyable. There is also a spiciness there, but not too much. The finish is quite complex, lingering, and interesting, and I have learned that a little extra water (say 4:1 rather than my usual 3-3.5:1) eliminates most of the grassiness that occurs in the finish.

This absinthe ranks both at the top of US products and can stand up with anything coming from Europe as well. It is good just minutes out of the bottle, and I expect it will become even better with time.

Reviewed by marlow     January 03, 2009
Last updated: March 30, 2010
Overall rating 
 
2.9
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
4.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
3.0
Overall 
 
2.0

A work in progress....

I have to say I am somewhat disappointed with Leopold's absinthe. I've been reading a lot of good reviews about batch-by-batch improvements to the product, but as of #14, there is still a long way to go.

The color and louche are fine. The drink begins an attractive olive green and with the addition of water becomes a pleasing yellowish jade. The louche process yields all the expected "oil trails" and visual theatrics.

The flavor and aroma, however, are way out of balance. There is something overwhelmingly leafy or grassy in the scent and taste of this absinthe, which largely obscures whatever might be going on with the anise, wormwood, and so forth. Perhaps with time this will "air out" a bit, and if it does, I will update my review accordingly, but for now, I'm afraid I have to give the Leopold low marks.

The finish is acceptable, but the grassy quality lingers. Overall, I think this absinthe shows promise, but it's very much a work in progress.

Absinthe Substitutes
Reviewed by marlow     December 20, 2008
Overall rating 
 
2.6
Appearance 
 
4.0
Louche 
 
3.0
Aroma 
 
3.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
2.0
Finish 
 
1.0
Overall 
 
2.0

USDA Marginal

The best thing one can say about Absente is that it looks the part. The color before water is actually quite nice, a natural looking pale peridot. The louche is also reasonably convincing, though it forms rather rapidly and in the end isn't quite right.
The aroma is acceptable if one dimensional, but the taste is quite unbalanced. Whatever herbs are in this faux absinthe are overwhelmed by sweetness, almost as though there is sugar added in the manner of a liqueur. I'm not sure what to say about the finish; there is something odd about it that I do not care for.
Overall, Absente is not horrible, but it's a poor substitute for the real thing.

Traditional Absinthe
Reviewed by marlow     December 19, 2008
Last updated: April 05, 2010
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Appearance 
 
5.0
Louche 
 
5.0
Aroma 
 
4.0
Flavor / Mouthfeel 
 
5.0
Finish 
 
4.0
Overall 
 
4.0

Vieux Pontarlier - high quality and affordable.

I'm giving this absinthe marks. Visually, it's just about perfect, starting as a lovely and bright, peridot green and louching to an equally attractive, opalescent jade. The louche process itself seems just right, starting with heavy, rope-like "oil trails" and ending with the expected vanishing ring of green. I found the aroma before water to be intensely herbal, but it mellows as the water is added, and the anise comes to the forefront. The flavor is herbal, complex, and very interesting, with a soft and lingering bitterness that I found very pleasing; the finish is less perfect than the initial flavor but still very good. Overall, I would say this is the one of the better absinthes on the US market I've tried to date, and for the price, it is very hard to beat.

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